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Notes on the Case 

of 

Leo Max Frank 

and 
Its Aftermath 



by 
Tom Watson Brown 
1982 



o 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



A Summary of the Case of Leo Max Frank 
and Its Aftermath 



Factors Which Contributed to Frank's 
Conviction 



Notes Found Near Mary Phagan's Body 



Diagram of National Pencil Company 
Building Showing Prosecution's 
Reconstruction of Murder .... 



Map of Second Floor of National 
Pencil Company Factory Showing 
Leo Frank's Office, Mary Phagan's 
Work Place and Site of Murder . . 



Review of Trial by Atlanta Newspaper 
C : Reporter Present Throughout Proceedings 



Discussion of 1982 Affidavit of 
Alonzo Mann 



(■'"-■ 



A SUMMARY OF THE CASE OF 
LEO MAX FRANK 
V. AND ITS AFTERMATH 



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Life in Atlanta of 1913 was neither the best of times nor 
(^ ■ the worst of times. It was an era far different from the 

Atlanta that we know today. Full of boosterism, yearning to 
achieve its first half-million population level, a bustling . 
commercial and distribution center, Atlanta had grown signifi- 
cantly since the close of the War. Indeed, it had begun to 
accumulate a smattering of light industry, including the 
National Pencil Company located at 37-39 Forsyth Street. This 
four-story building, plus basement, employed some 100 people, 
mostly female, in the manufacture and distribution of pencils, 
variously known as "Magnolias," " Jef f ersons" and the like. It 
was poorly ventilated, dirty, its windows clouded over by grime* 
Its laborers were paid a rate of $.10 per hour for ten and 
twelve-hour days, plus a half day on Saturday. Wages were 
hourly and paid only when work was available. It was, in short, 
a sweat shop of the Northern urban variety. 

Georgia, like the rest of the South, had not recovered from 
the ravishes of the Civil War. Confederate currency and govern- 
ment obligations had been repudiated. Uncompensated emancipa- 

r 

tion, which had destroyed the bulk of the South ' s capital in- 
vestment, tremendous property destruction, an incredible toll of 
life (exceeding percentage wise that of any of the European 
powers of World War I or World War II), high tariffs, discrimina- 
tory freight rates and redemption of Northern green-backs in gold 
left little hope for capital accumulation or for the the es- 
tablishment of heavy industry in the South. Indeed, Southern 
r states were forced to contribute to Union veteran pensions. 



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while carrying Confederate veteran benefits alone. This re- 
duction of the South to colonial status had the inevitable 
effect of resettling families from small towns and farms into 
urban areas where wives and children were forced to work to help 
the family survive. One of these was the family of 13-year old 
Mary Phagan, which had moved from Marietta, the home of her 
childhood, to the Dellwood section of Atlanta. Ilary had taken 
employment at the National Pencil Company, working in its 
second floor metal room fixing metal caps on pencils by machine. 
Her last day of work in the fatal week ending April 26, 1913, 
was Monday, when she was told not to report back to work until 
a shipment of metal had arrived. On Saturday, April 26, she set 
forth from home to collect the wages due her, some $1.20 for 
Monday's work at the usual Saturday paytime of noon at the 
Company. It was her intention to watch the Confederate Memorial 
Day parade that afternoon before returning, home. Her Sunday 
plans included participation in her Baptist church's bible con- 
test. An unusually attractive child, Mary was seen leaving the 
trolley car and heading for the company at or shortly after 
noon. Her body was discovered at about 3:00 a.m. the next 
morning in the basement of the company by the night watchman, 
Newt Lee. She had been struck, apparently by a fist,' about the 
left eye, had suffered a nearly simultaneous 1 1/2-inch gash 
running from "down to up" in the back of the head (the blow had 
apparently rendered her unconscious but had not fractured the 
skull) and had been strangled by a cord, which was embedded in 
her throat with her tongue protruding some inch and a half from 



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her mouth. She had been raped, her undergarments were torn and 
(^.;) bloody and a piece of undergarment had been wrapped around her 

head. She had been bitten on her shoulder and breast. Her body had 
apparently been dragged across the basement floor/ judging by 
the fragments of soot/ ashes and pencil shavings on the body and 
by the drag marks leading from the elevator shaft to her final 
resting place. There was no^ evidence/ such as skin fragments 
or blood under her fingernails that she had inflicted any harm 
on her assailant. Two notes scribbled on Company order carbon 
forms were found near the body, reading as follows: 

Mam that negro hire down here did this i went to 
make water and he push me down that hole a long 
tall negro black that hoo it wase long sleam tall 
negro i wright while play with me 



t 



he said he wood love me land down play like the 
night witch did it but that long tall black negro 
-did buy his slef. 

Interrogation of Newt Lee by the detectives revealed that 
he had arrived for work at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday as ordered by the 
factory superintendent, Leo M. Frank, found the doors locked, let 
himself in with his pass key but was sent away by Frank who, unex- 
pectedly walked over to Lee, "bustling out of his office," rather 
than ordering Lee to report to him as Frank customarily did. He sent 
Lee away from the factory, ordering him not to report until 6:00 p.m. 
Lee did as he was told, returning at the later hour, and shortly after 
was followed by J. N. Gantt, a white former employee of the Company 



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who was also a friend of the Phagan family. Again, Frank ap- 
peared startled and frightened to see Gantt who/ after some 
objection was ultimately allowed into the factory in the company 
of Lee to retrieve a pair of shoes that Gantt had left behind. 

Frank thereafter left the factory/ but called back at 7:00 
p.m. to inquire of Lee if everything at the factory was "all 
right." This type of call was without precedent by Frank. Lee 
testified that he checked the basement during his rounds every hour, 
but that because the single gas jet had been turned down quite 
low, he did not discover the body until he proceeded to the 
Negro bathroom in the basement at about 3:00 a.m. Lee called 
the police who arrived in ten minutes, accompanied by an 
Atlanta Constitution reporter who was sleeping off a hang- 
over in the police car. Lee also called Frank's house but got 
no response. An early investigation discovered the notes which 
were read out loud. No blood was found near the ground or the 
sawdust around the body. 

Later in the morning about 6:30 a.m., Frank was reached 
by telephone by the police "/"repeated earlier calls by both 
Lee and the police not having been answered. When collected by 
the detectives, Frank appeared extremely nervous, asked to eat 
his breakfast before leaving and denied knowledge of a "little 
girl" named Mary Phagan. He repeatedly asked for a cup of 
coffee. One of the detectives suggested a shot of whiskey but 
was told Frank's father-in-law had drunk it all the night be- 
fore for his indigestion. -At the morgue, Frank scarcely looked 



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at the body, would not enter the room where it lay and continued 
to be in a nervous, agitated state. Arriving at the factory, Frank 
consulted his time book and reported, "Yes, Mary Phagan worked 
here. She was here yesterday to get her pay. 

"I will tell you about the exact time she left here. My 
stenographer left about 12:00 and a few minutes after she left, 
the office boy left and Mary came in and got her pay and left." 



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Later at the coroner's inquest, Frank would swear under 
oath that he heard Mary Phagan come into his office Saturday 
"between 12:05 and 12:10, maybe 12:07", looked up and gave 
her her pay, and when she asked if the metal had arrived 
(so that Mary would know whether to come to work on Monday) 
he replied, "I don't know." 

i 

Mary Phagan's machine was next to the dressing room and, 
in going to the bathroom, the men who worked on the second 
floor had to pass within two or three feet of it. 

Pinkerton Agency Detective Scott had been assured by Frank that 
from the time he arrived at the factory from his visit to Montag 
Brothers off.ice Saturday morning until 12:50 p.m., the time 
he went upstairs to the fourth floor of the factory, he had 
been inside of his office the entire time. Frank repeated 
under questioning that he was inside his office "every minute" 
from 12:00 to 12:30. Again, on Monday morning, April 28, Frank 
told the Chief of the Atlanta detectives that "the office boy 
and the stenographer were with, me in the office until noon. 
They left about 12:00 or a little after." 

At the factory Sunday morning, Frank confirmed that the 
time slips punched by Lee were correct. However, the following 
day he announced that the time slips contained errors. When 
Frank arrived at police headquarters for further questioning on 
Monday morning, he was preceded by his attorneys, Luther Rosser 
and Herbert Haas, who had evidently been contacted Sunday. 
Frank advised the police that both Lee and Gantt had been at the 
factory at 6:00 p.m., thus causing their arrest. On Tuesday 
night, Frank acceded to the police suggestion that he confront 



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Lee alone, which he did, but announced that he was unable to 
change Lee's story. Frank's assertion that the time sheet had 
not been punched correctly would have given Lee an hour to have 
gone to his house and come back. At Lee's house, a blood- 
stained shirt was found under a barrel of clothing. 

During his conference with Lee, when rejoined by the de- 
tectives, Frank was "very squirmy in his chair, crossing one 
leg after the other and didn't know where to put his hands; he 
was moving them up and down his face ... he breathed very 
.heavily and took deep swallows and hesitated somewhat." 

Frank advised Harry Scott, superintendent of the local 
branch of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, who was employed by 
Frank for the pencil factory (but under the licensing require- 
ments of the City of Atlanta had to work in conjunction with 
the Atlanta police department, revealing to them all evidence 
it uncovered) that Gantt "knew Mary Phagan very well." According 
to Pinkerton Chief Scott, "Frank seemed to lay special stress on 
it at the time." 

When the factory opened for work again early Monday morning, 
a machinist promptly reported that he had found a blood spot at 
the west end of the dressing room on the second floor which had 
not been there Friday. The spot was described as being four or 
five inches in diameter with little spots trailing behind from 
the rear, six or eight in number. They'were discovered between 
6:30 and 7:00 a.m. Haskoline or pot ash was smeared over the spots. 
In addition, hair was found on the handle of a bench lathe, swing- 
ing down on the handle of the machine whose operator had used it 



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until quitting time on Friday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. The piece 
f. : of work on which the operator had been working was still in the 

machine undisturbed. 

The discovery of the new blood spots was corroborated by 
the sweeper who swore that the spots were not present at closing 
time on Friday. A female worker corroborated the presence of 
the blood spots, describing them as being "as big as a fan" in 
front of the girls' dressing room, and swore the spots had not 
been there Friday. In addition, it was pointed out that strands 
of cord of the type used to strangle Mary Phagan hung near the 
dressing room, readily available for bundling up pencils. 

In time, Frank himself was arrested about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday 
morning, April 29. Again, it was reported that his hands were 
quivering very much and that he was very pale. 
^ Frank repeatedly stated: 

"She (Mary Phagan) came in between 12:05 and 12:10, maybe 
12:07 to get her ■ pay envelope, her salary. I paid her and she 
went out of the office." 

The police obtained a statement from Mineola McKnight, 
the Negro cook in the Frank-Selig home. She was questioned at 
length and then signed an affidavit in the presence of and 
attested by her attorney, G. F. Gordon. 

Among other things, she recited in the affidavit that 
when Frank came home that Saturday night he was drunk and that 
he talked wildly and threatened to kill himself, forcing his 
wife to sleep on the floor. 
/.- - On the next Saturday, Atlanta detectives received a 

windfall in the appearance of Monteen Stover. She explained 



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she had come for her pay, not having collected it on April 26 
because of Frank's absence from his office. 

"It was five minutes after 12:00. I was sure Mr. 
Frank would be in his office, so I stepped in. He 
wasn't in the outer office so I stepped into the 
inner one. He wasn't there either. I thought he 
might have been somewhere around the building so I 
waited. I went to the door and peered further down 
the floor among the machinery. I couldn't see him 
there. " 

"I stayed until the clock hand was pointing exactly 
to ten minutes after 12:00. Then I went downstairs. 
The building was quiet and I couldn't hear a sound. 
I didn't see anybody . . . " 
At the Coroner's Inquest, Frank {under oath) generally 
repeated his story of his whereabouts on April 26, including 
Mary Phagan's arrival and departure from his office shortly 
after noon, and the following exchange took place: 

"Were you out of the office from the time the noon 
whistles blew until Quinn came in?" (c. 12:25) 
"No. " 

At the Coroner's Inquest, Honteen Stover testified "I was 
at the factory at five minutes after 12:00 that day. I stayed 
there five minutes and left at ten minutes after twelve. I 
went there to get my money. I went into Mr. Frank's office, he 
was not there. I did not see or hear anyone in the building. 
V_ ' The door to the metal room was closed. I looked at the clock 



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on my way up. I went from the first office into the second 
office." 

At the conclusion of the Coroner's Inquest on May 8, the 
jury returned a verdict of murder at the hands of a person or 
persons unknown. Frank and Lee were returned to custody in 
Fulton Tower. On May 24, Solicitor General Hugh A. Dorsey, Sr., 
asked for a true bill against Frank after evidence had been 
presented to the grand jury. The jury accordingly returned a 
no bill against Lee and an indictment against Frank, charging 
him with first-degree murder. 

The case of The State of Georgia against Leo M. Frank 
came on for trial at Atlanta in Fulton County Superior Court 
on July 28, 1913. Presiding was the Honorable L. S. Roan, 
a veteran jurist of wide experience and respect. Solicitor 
General Dorsey appeared for the State assisted by Special 
Assistant Frank A. Hooper, Sr. , and Assistant Solicitor E. A. 
Stephens. Frank was represented initially by Ruben A. Arnold, 
Luther Rosser, Stiles Hopkins and Herbert Haas. Dorsey never 
evidenced any doubt of Frank's guilt nor did apparently the 
general population of Atlanta which had been following the story 
in the vivid newspaper accounts. One informal poll indicated 
that four of five Atlantans responding held this view. The 
courtroom was daily crowded with extra persons waiting in line 
in the morning to find a place. However, there was no report 
in the daily papers nor in the accounts and motions of the 
various attorneys during or after the trial of any "mob" in- 
r ■ fluencing the jury by external noise or otherwise, until the 

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final day of the announcement of the verdict. Even then, affi- 
davits of court officials and the jurors themselves rebutted 
the suggestion that they had heard or been influenced by demon- 
strations or other noises, nor was a mistrial or change of 
venue sought by defense counsel during the trial. 

The State's case simply put was that Frank had previously 
seduced and taken indecent liberties with a number of other 
young factory girls and had made unsuccessful advances on Mary 
Phagan. Frank had refused to send her pay envelope home on 
Friday by a fellow employee and hence knew that she was coming 
into the factory sometime on Saturday after 12:00. Frank had 
trained and now utilized again the factory's Negro sweeper, 
Conley, to act as a lookout to see that he was not interrupted 
during his immoral activities in the factory. Mary Phagan 
arrived in Frank's second-floor office shortly after noon on 
Saturday to collect her pay, was lured to the metal room by 
Frank and was there assaulted and murdered. During the time of 
the assault, Monteen Stover arrived at Frank's office at 12:05, 
checked out both offices and found them empty and then left 
precisely at 12:10. Thereafter, at approximately 12:15, Frank 
called Conley to the metal room to assist him in moving Mary 
Phagan's body to the basement via the elevator. Thereafter, 
they returned to the second floor office where Frank dictated the 
notes for Conley to transcribe. Frank then went home for lunch, 
returned to the office, and remained there until 6:00 p.m., 
waiting for Conley to return to burn the body. 

A jury was selected in four hours. All were white male 



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and subjected to the usual disqualifications on the basis of 
having already formed conclusions with regards to the case and 
having reservations about capital punishment. Both sides had 
the right to strike for bias, plus ten peremptory strikes for 
the state and twenty peremptory strikes for the defense.' All 
jurors were residents of Atlanta, except W. M. Jeffries who 
resided in Bolton. Their average age was 35 years and five 
months. They were lodged at the Kimball House during the trial. 



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Leo Frank Trial Jury 



C. J. Basshart 



24 Single Pressman 



Atlanta 



A. H. Henslee 



36 Married Head Salesman Atlanta 

Baggy Co. 



J. F. Higdon 



42 Married 



Building 
Contractor 



Atlanta 



W. M. Jeffries 



33 Married Real Estate 



Bolton 



M. Johenning 



46 Married Shipping Clerk Atlanta 



trf? 



W. F. Medea If 



J. T. Ozburn 



36 Married Mailer 



36 Married Optician 



Atlanta 



Atlanta 



Frederick V. L. Smith 37. ....Married Paying Teller Atlanta 



D. Townsend 



23 Married Paying Teller Atlanta 



F. E. Windburn 



39 Married 



Railroad Claims Atlanta 
Agent 



A. L. Wiseby 
M. S. Woodward 



43 Married Cashier 



34 Married 



Cashier-King 
Hardware 



Atlanta 



Atlanta 



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The elements of evidence earlier described in the detec- 
\£-.- tives ' reports and at the Coroner's Inquest were introduced in 
the trial, but I will not repeat them here. 

Testimony set forth that, besides the ruptured hymen, the 
victim's vagina definitely showed evidence of violence before 
death as evidenced by internal bleeding. The epithelium was 
pulled loose from the inner walls and completely detached in 
some places. The violence that produced this condition had 
occurred before death. 

Mineola McKnight's husband — she was the Frank -Selig maid-- 
gave testimony that Frank came home about 1:30 p.m., did not 
eat lunch and left the house after only 5 or 10 minutes. 

The State star witness, of course, was James Conley, the 
stocky Negro factory handyman. He testified that he had worked 
in the pencil factory for a little over two years; that on Fri- 
day afternoon at about 3:00 Frank came to him on the fourth 
floor where he was working and requested him to come to work 
the fateful Saturday morning because there would be work for him 
to do on the second floor. Upon arriving at work, he testified 
that Frank said, "You are a little early for what I want you to 
do for me, but I want you to watch like before, like you have 
been doing on the rest of the Saturdays." 

Then Conley explained this conversation by reciting that 
he had stayed on the first floor on various Saturdays and on 
■ Thanksgiving Day in 1912 to watch while Frank and "some young 
lady" were "chatting" on the second floor. He said that he and 
f Frank had worked out a signal code by which Frank would stomp 



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on the floor for Conley to 'lock the hall door and would later 
whistle for Conley to unlock the door so the girl could get 
out of the factory. 

Conley testified that while keeping watch he observed the 
comings and goings of various people upon the return of Frank 
from Montag Brothers. He identified Mary Phagan as entering 
the building and going upstairs; that he heard footsteps going 
towards Frank's office and then the footsteps of two people 
going toward the metal room; that he subsequently heard a woman 
scream and heard no further sounds. He then recited the arrival 
of Monteen Stover, her trip upstairs, her return downstairs and 
departure. Next, he heard someone run out of the metal room and 
then "tiptoe" back into it. He then do2ed off to sleep, but was 
awakened by Frank's stomping. He locked the door and remained 
downstairs until he heard Frank's whistle. He then went up- 
stairs where he saw Frank standing at the door of his office in 
an agitated condition with a red face and "looked funny out of 
his eyes." In one of his hands, Frank was holding a piece of 
white cord like that used to strangle Mary Phagan. Frank then 
recited to Conley "she came into my office a little while ago 
and wanted to know something about her work and I went back 
there to see if the little girl's work had come, and I wanted 
to be with the little girl and she refused me and I struck her. 
I guess I struck her too hard and she fell and hit her head 
against something and I do not know how bad she got hurt." To 
this Conley reported that Frank added, "Of course, you know 1 
ain't built like other men." Conley then testified that he 
followed Frank's orders to go the metal room and bring the body 
out. He reported that he found a girl lying on the floor with a 



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rope around her neck and another piece of cloth tied around her 
head, apparently to catch the blood. He testified that the 
clock at that point read four minutes to one. Conley then re- 
ported that he wrapped the body in a piece of cloth, but dropped 
it near the dressing room. He then, with Frank's help, carried 
the body to the elevator, the two of them lowered the elevator 
to the basement and rolled the body out onto the floor and left 
it. They .then went upstairs to Frank's office where Frank die- 
tated the notes. Frank then reportedly told Conley, "Why should 
I hang? I have wealthy people in Brooklyn." To Conley's ques- 
tion about his own future, Frank reportedly replied, "Don't you 
worry about anything, you just come back to work on Monday morn- 
ing like you don't know anything and keep your mouth shut. If 
you get caught, I'll get you out on bond and send you away. You 
can come back this evening and do it" (i.e., dispose of the body 
by burning it in the furnace). Conley then reported that he 
proceeded to get drunk, and went home to sleep, rather than re- 
turning to the factory. However, he further testified that the 
next time he saw Frank was on the Tuesday morning following the 
murder, again on the fourth floor of the factory. Frank ad- . 
vised, Conley swore, "Keep your mouth shut. If you had come 
back here Saturday and done what I' told you, there wouldn't 
have been any trouble." 

Conley testified that he had observed Frank in compromis- 
ing positions in his office and in the back room with different 
women in positions that gave Conley to understand what Frank 
had meant by stating that he was "not built like other men." 
Conley also identified a man named Dalton and a woman named 



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Daisey Hopkins as being people who had participated in sexual 
encounters in company with Frank. 

On cross-examination, Conley cheerfully admitted to having 
lied on numerous occasions, including the statements submitted 
to police prior to his full confession in late May. He. said 
that his denial of knowledge of the murder was to protect Frank, 
because Frank was a white man, his boss and had been good to 
him. Conley also admitted to a number of previous arrests which 
had resulted in fines of nominal amounts for drunkenness or 
disorderly conduct and one sentence of thirty days for an 
altercation with a white man. 

Subsequently, Dalton appeared. and swore that he and Frank 
had frequently had sexual encounters with women at the factory, 
with Conley acting as "look-out". On cross-examination, Dalton 
admitted that he had once been convicted and served a term for 
larceny. Other witnesses testified to Frank's making proposi- 
tions to women, harassing femal employees, etc. 

The defense produced nearly 200 witnesses in an effort to 
corroborate Frank's statement as to where he was during the time 
schedule he had outlined and to discredit the state's witnesses. 
In addition, so as to offset the testimony concerning sexual 
liasions in the factory as well as Frank's alleged misconduct 
with female employees, it was determined to establish Frank's 
good character which, of course, carried with it the opportunity 
for the prosecution to introduce subsequent evidence as to 
Frank's bad reputation and character. These witnesses gener- 
( ally bore out Frank's story but left unaccounted for the time 

between noon and 12:45. Cross-examination developed that all 



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of them were either employees of Montag Brothers, National 
Pencil Company, relatives by marriage of Frank's/ or Frank's 
close friends. The statement by Lemmy Quinn, a factory foreman, 
who had appeared in a later version of Frank's story as being 
in his office at 12:20, was effectively demolished on cross- 
examination and by the testimony of subsequent witnesses who 
reported that he advised them that he had visited Frank prior 
to 12:00 jn the factory. 

Various witnesses, associates of Frank at Cornell Univer- 
sity, in Brooklyn and Atlanta, testified as to his general good 
character as an upright and law-abiding citizen. Forty-nine 
women employees at the pencil factory testified that his 
general reputation and his reputation for moral rectitude were 
good. One witness on cross-examination, however, did testify 
V ^ to Frank's frequently coming into the women's dressing room and 
staring at the girls while they changed clothes. Frank sub- 
mitted a lenghty unsworn statement on the stand, which added 
little beyond the statements he had already made to the detec- 
tives, police and at the coroner's- inquest. He did attempt to 
excuse his absence when Honteen Stover testified she had come to 
the office by stating that he might have "inadvertently left to 
answer a call of nature." 

On rebuttal, the State called more than 70 witnesses. A 
friend of Mineola McKnight's husband as well as her attorney, 
George Gordon, testified that Mineola had told them she made a 
complete and true statment to the police of everything she knew 
which was contained in the damaging affidavit referring to 
Frank's drinking on the night of the murder, sleeping restlessly- 
and threatening to kill himself with a pistol. Two witnesses 

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who had come to the factory to obtain their sons' money 
testified of the presence of the Negro at the stairs on the 
first floor of about the same size of Conley but whom they could 
not positively identify. 

Fourteen witnesses testified that Balton's reputation for 
truth was good. Eight testified that Daisy Hopkins' reputation 
for truth and veracity was bad in a prosecution attempt to re- 
but her assertion that she did not know Frank and had never 
been to the factory with Dalton. Three witnesses testified that 
they had frequently seen Frank talk to the victim and call her 
by her first name. Others testified to seeing him touch her 
and attempt to intercept her for conversation. Testimony was 
introduced that her machine was just a few feet from the men's 
second floor restroom. 

As the climax of the prosecution's rebuttal, 20 girls, 
former employees of the pencil company, testified emphatically 
that Frank's reputation for lascivious conduct was bad. None 
were cross-examined, allowing their testimony to stand unchallenged, 
Solicitor Dorsey had, of course, hoped for cross-examination of 
these female witnesses by the defense, which would have permitted 
Dorsey to get testimony into the record about specific incidents 
of immoral conduct by Frank. 

The prosecution's witness Monteen Stover testified that she 
waited in Frank's offices between 12 ; 05-12: 10 p.m. and looked in 
vain for Frank in both offices. She heard no sounds in the building, 
She verified the time by the time clock on the wall fronting onto 
Frank's office. 



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"It was five minutes aEter twelve. I was sure 
Mr. Frank would be in his office, so I stepped 
in. He wasn't in the outer office so I stepped 
into the inner one. He wasn't there either. I 
thought he might have been somewhere around the 
building so I waited. I went to the door and 
peered further down the floor among the machinery. 
I couldn't see him there." 

"I stayed until the clock hand was pointing exactly 
to ten minutes after 12. Then I went downstairs. 
The building was quiet and I couldn't hear a sound. 
I didn't see anybody ..." 

Monteen further testified that she intended to go to 
fj^\ the ladies dressing room, inside the metal room, but when she 

tried the door, she found it locked. 

This summarizes the bulk, of the evidence introduced in 
the case. There was more than sufficient evidence presented 
whereby a reasonable jury could reasonably find Frank guilty 
beyond a reasonable doubt of murder, which was their sole charge, 
Undoubtedly, the damaging testimony as to Frank's character and - 
sexual misconduct colored their conclusion with regards to the 
murder. 



v.i 



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Night Witch 

Among some of the bits of nonsense expressed concerning 
the Frank trial was that of Henry A. Alexander, one of Frank's 
legion of attorneys, who, in a short pamphlet attempting to prove 
that Conley had written the notes found beside Mary Phagan's body 
without dictation or coaching from Frank, went into come detail 
that "nigt witch" was a deliberate spelling and referred to a negro 
superstition about night witches, which logically would not have 
been well known to Frank. 

Regardless, at the time the notes were discovered and read' 
in the factory basement early in the morning of April 28, when 
the detectives read the words "nigt witch" on two separate occa- 
sions, Newt Lee brightly volunteered "that's me." In addition, 
when Conley was directed to write "night watchman" by police 
during his interrogation, he promptly wrote down "nigt witch" , 
reciting that that was his nickname for the night watchman whom 
Conley had never met, and thus, could not know that he was in 
fact a tall, slim black Negro. 



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f ■ 

V .-■ 



Incomplete List of Evidence 
Pointing to Frank's Guilt 

1. Frank's demeanor at time of arrest. 

2. Sending Lee away at 4:00 p.m. 

3. Calling Lee at 7:00 p.m. 

4. Frank's denial of knowledge of identity of Mary Phagan. 

5. Testimony of cook and husband as to Frank's distraught 
condition on night of crime. 

6. Frank's attempts to throw suspicion on Lee and Gantt. 

7. Frank's failure to throw suspicion on Conley. 

8. Frank's failure to tell authorities that Conley could write. 

9. Frank's refusal to have confrontation with Conley. 

10. Frank's misstatement under oath at coroner's inquest about 
whistles blowing at noon (holiday — no whistles blew) . 

11. Frank's misstatement under oath at coroner's inquest as to 
never leaving office between 12:00 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. — - 
refuted by Monteen Stover's sworn testimony. 

12. Frank's changing his answer to Mary Phagan' s metal supply 
question from "I don't know" to "No". 

13. Frank's refusal to be cross-examined after making two 
unsworn statements at trial. 

14. Statements of witnesses as to Frank's knowledge of Mary 
Phagan, location of her machine, and Frank's harassment 
of her. 

15. Introduction of unchallenged testimony as to Frank's bad 
character for lasciviousness by twenty former female 
employees of Company--no cross examination by Frank's 
counsel. 

16. Testimony of other witnesses as to Frank's pattern of 
sexual misconduct. 

17. Conley' s testimony as to events of April 26 and as to 
previous sexual episodes of Frank and others. 



-20- 



L_s 



o 



(.. 



18. Bloodstains on floor in metal room. 

19. Hair on lathe in metal room. 

20. Twine which strangled Mary Phagan present on second floor. 

21. Frank's refusal to send pay home to Mary Phagan by friends 
on Friday afternoon. 

22. Frank's cancellation of baseball game date. 

23. Belief of Frank's guilt by private detectives, Atlanta 
police and Dorsey staff. 

24. Belief of Conley's story by private detectives, Atlanta 
police and Dorsey staff. 



-20a- 



/- 



The Atlanta Constitution reported as follows as to prosecution 
witness Conley's demeanor: 

"No such record has ever been made in a criminal court 
case in this county. . . . Conley may be telling the truth in 
the main, or he may be lying altogether. He may be the real 
murderer or he may have been an accomplice after the fact. 
Be these things as they may, he is one of the most remarkable 
Negroes that has ever been seen in this section of the country. 
His nerve seems unshakable. His wit is ever ready. ... As 
hour by hour the attorneys for the defense hammered away and 
failed to entrap the Negro, the enormity of the evidence be- 
came apparent. Finally came the virtual confession of the 
defense that they had failed to entrap the Negro and they asked 
that the evidence be stricken from the records. All over the 
city the news spread that the Negro had withstood the fire and 
that Frank's attorneys were seeking to have the evidence ex- 
punged from the records . " 



-21- 



e 



No Mob Influence 

Evidencing the absence of any threatening mob, at no time 
did defense counsel, either Rosser or Arnold, move for a mis- 
trial or for a change of venue, nor apparently was the latter 
ever seriously considered. Nor did Judge Roan, who had the 
power under Georgia law to change the venue on his own motion, 
make such a determination, which he clearly would have done if 
confronted with a mob or mob influence. 

After the trial, ,- jurors signed affidavits that they had 
not been influenced by any outside crowd or crowd noise and 
various bailiffs and marshalls and court officials likewise 
swore by affidavit that there had been no undue crowd influence, 
even during the last days of the trial. 

No newspaper or other contemporary account of the trial 
reports the presence of a mob calling for Frank's death, as is so 
often erroneously claimed by Frank's proponents. 

Prejudice 

It is generally recognized by commentators that Atlanta 
and most of the South was infected with little sentiment that 
could be generally termed to be Anti-Semitism in 1913. How- 
ever, there was friction between the Sephartic and German Jews 
who arrived in the South in the 18th and early 19th centuries 
and the Jewish latecomers from Poland and Russia who arrived 
around the turn of the century, as evidenced by their separate 
social clubs, separate synagogues and resistance to inter- 
marriage between members of the groups. Nor did the Atlanta 



-22- 



■'■i 



newspaperSi although sensationalizing the trial at every turn — 
particularly the revelations of the sexual abuses inflicted on 
the victim and the steadily unraveling store of Frank's sexual 
peccadillos and those of others utilizing the convenience of the 
National Pencil Factory facilities for liaisons--dwell on 
Frank's ethnic or religious background. Counsel for the State 
was studious in avoiding raising the topic of Frank's religious 
and racial background/ although ultimately referring to it in 
Dorsey's summary/ following the repeated references by Rosser 
and Arnold in their summaries to Frank's being Jewish. 

However, the defense constantly harped on racial attitudes 
toward blacks. Conley was repeatedly denounced on cross- 
examination, and in summary, as a "dirty, lying nigger" who, 
along with all others of his race, was incapable of telling an 
honest story. One instance highlighting this attitude was the 
examination of evidence pertaining to the bloody shirt found 
in Newt Lee's belongings. It 'was rejected as significant be- 
cause of a) the blood stains being smeared on both sides of 
the shirt and b) acceptance by both sides that the shirt had 
not been worn because of the absence of "the smell of the 
nigger" in the armpits of the shirt, the State's witness and 
Rosser vying for levels of expertise in identifying the smell 
of "African sweat". 



-23- 



Rosser summarized: 

"Gentlemen, take a look at this spectacle, if you can. 
Here is a Jewish boy from the North. He is unacquainted with 
the South. He came here alone and without friends and he 
stood alone. This murder happened in his place of business. 
He told the Pinkertons to find the man, trusting to them en- 
tirely, no matter where or what they found might strike. He 
is defenseless and helpless. He knows his innocence and is 
willing to find the murderer. They try to place the murder 
on him. God, all merciful and all powerful, look upon a scene 
like this? 

"The thing that arises in this case to fatigue my indigna- 
tion is that men born of such parents should believe the state- 
ment of Conley against the statement of Frank. Who is Conley? 
Who was Conley as he used to be and as you have seen him? He 
was a dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying nigger." 

Dorsey summarized: 

"I say to you here and now that the race from which that [Frank] 
man comes is as good as our race. His ancestors were civi- 
lized when ours were cutting each other up and eating human 
flesh; his race is just as good as ours, --just so good but no 
better. I honor the race that has produced a Disraeli, --.r'the. 
greatest Prime Minister that England has ever produced; I 
honor the race that produced Judah P. Ben jarnin, --as great a 
lawyer as ever lived in America or England, because he lived 



-24- 



in both places and won renown in both places. I honor the 
^ } Strauss brothers, — Oscar, the diplomat, and the man who went 

down with his wife by his side on the Titanic. I roomed with 
one of his race at college; one of his race is my partner* 
I served with old man Joe Ilirsch on the Board of Trustees of 
the Grady Hospital. I know Rabbi Marx but to honor him, and I 
know Doctor Sonn, of the Hebrew Orphans' Home and I have list- 
ened to him with pleasure and pride. 

"But, on the other hand, when Becker wished to put to 
death his bitter enemy, it was men of Frank's race he selected. 
Abe Hummel, the lawyer, who went to the penitentiary in TTew 
York, and Abe Reuf , who went to the penitentiary in San Fran- 
cisco; Schwartz, the man accused of stabbing a girl in New York, 
who committed suicide, and others that I could mention, show 
that this great people are amenable to the same laws as you and 
I and the black race. They rise to heights sublime, but they 
sink to the depths of degradation. 

"Gentlemen, every act of that defendant proclaims him 
guilty. Gentlemen, every word of that defendant proclaims 
him responsible for the death of this little factory girl. 
Gentlemen, every circumstance; in this case proves him' 
guilty of this crime. Extraordinary? Yes, but nevertheless 
true, just as true as Hary Phagan is dead. She died a noble 
death, not a blot on her name. She died because she wouldn't 
yield her virtue to the demands of her superintendent. I have 
no purpose and have never had from the beginning in this case 
that you oughtn't to have, as an honest, upright citizen of 



G 



^_' 



-25- 



c 



this community. In the language of Daniel Webster, I desire 
to remind you "that when a jury, through whimsical and un- 
founded scruples, suffers the guilty, to escape, they make 
themselves answerable for the augmented danger to the innocent." 

"Your Honor, I have done my duty. I have no apology to 
make. Your Honor, so far as the State is concerned, may now 
charge this jury, — this jury who have sworn that they were im- 
partial and unbiased, this jury who, in this presence, have 
taken the oath that they would well and. truly try the issue 
formed on this bill of indictment between the State of Georgia 
and Leo M. Frank, charged with murder of Mary Phagan; and I 
predict, may it please Your Honor, that under the law that you 
give in charge and under the honest opinion of the jury of the 
evidence produced, there can be but one verdict, and that is: 
We the jury find the defendant, Leo M. Frank, guiltyl GUILTY1 
GUILTY! I " 

These words were uttered by Dorsey at noon as church 
bells tolled and factory whistles blew, reminding all of the 
hour of the victim's - death-. •■ 

The trial had lasted twenty-nine days in court, a Georgia 
record. Conley had been on the witness stand longer than any 
witness in state history. The stenographic record alone ran 
to 1,080,060 words, and the trial was reputedly the most ex- 
pensive in Georgia history. 

After charging the jury. Judge Roan, in the interest of 
caution, requested both counsel to agree that the defendant- 
£' ) not be present in the courtoom to receive the jury's verdict, 

-26- 



e 



G 



C 



in case the verdict should prove to be one of acquittal, 
creating a public disturbance. The State militia was alerted 
and defendant's counsel, both Rosser and Arnold, agreed to 
Frank's absence from the courtroom, as well as their own. 
Dorsey acceded, after both Rosser and Arnold promised that 
Frank's absence would not be used as a basis for an appeal. 
Assistant prosecutor Hooper was assured by Judge Roan that 
Frank's consent to this procedure was being obtained. 

The jury deliberated for four hours, before returning a 
guilty verdict. 

After the verdict was announced, there was no demonstra- 
tion within the courtroom, although when the news spread to the 
large crowd outside, there was rejoicing. Dorsey, upon emerging 
from the courtroom building, was seized and passed bodily over 
the heads of the crowd to his office across the street. 

Frank was then sentenced on August 26 to be hanged at 
Fulton Tower on October 10, 1913. 

Then the following series of appellate moves began: 

Motion for new trial, denied by Judge Roan on October 31, 

1913. 

Roan's ruling was unanimously affirmed by the Georgia Supreme 

Court on February 17, 1914. Two judges dissented on the ques- 
tion of the admissibility of Conley's testimony as to Frank's 
sexual perversion, but concurred in the result, finding the 
evidence in question not sufficient to alter the verdict of ■ 

guilty. -- -.....- -...-- .-.. . ... ^.... .-..,. -„__._... ... . 

On March 7, 1914, Frank was resentenced to die on April 17, 
1914. 

-27- 



April 16, 1914 — stay of execution obtained on extraordi- 
inary motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence. 
This motion for new trial was denied by Superior Court Judge 
Ben H. Hill on May 8, 1914. The denial was unanimously 
affirmed by the Georgia Supreme Court on October 14, 1914. 

A motion to set aside the verdict on motion (based on 
absence of defendant at reception of verdict) was then made 
(despite the agreement of Frank's counsel). It was denied 
on June 6, 1914. This denial was unanimously affirmed by 
the Georgia Supreme Court on November 14, 1914. A writ of 
error was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, and was denied 
on December 7, 1914. 

On December 9, 1914 / Frank was sentenced for the third time 
to be hanged, on January 22, 1915. 

An application for Writ of Habeas Corpus was then carried 
to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was dismissed on April 19, 1915, 
by* vote of 7-2. 

On May 31, 1915 a hearing was held before State Prison 
Commission, which then affirmed the sentence of death on June 9, 
1915, by a two-to-one vote. 

Gov. Slaton's commutation was announced on June 21, 1915, 
although this information had been leaked previously. On the 
night of June 20, 1915, Frank had been shipped secretly to the 
State Prison at Milledgeville. 

Few people in the North had heard of the Frank case until 
after the trial ended, again rebutting the notion abroad today 
that bloodthirsty, anti-Semitic mobs roamed the streets of 

-28- 



c 



Atlanta during the trial, demanding Frank's conviction and in- 
timidating the jury. After the conviction, however, Frank's 
Atlanta friends (Frank had been head of the local B'nai B'rith 
chapter) reported to Northern counterparts a feeling that Frank 
had been a victim of anti-Semitism* Louis Marshall, president 
of the American Jewish Community, directed that his group 
assist, but that it would be ". . . most unfortunate if any- 
thing were done . . . from the standpoint of the Jews. What- 
ever is done must be done as a matter of justice, and any ac- 
tion that is taken should emanate from non-Jewish sources." 

"There is only one way of dealing with this matter . . . 
and that is in a quiet, unobtrusive matter, to bring influence 
to bear on the Southern press." 
^ ' At length, Frank's supporters decided to raise a constitu- 

tional issue based on the absence of Frank at the rendering of 
the verdict. Since defense attorneys Rosser and Arnold had 
promised prosecutor Dorsey that this would not be used as par.t 
of a future appeal, new counsel was retained for this motion. 
Northern newspapers, particularly including the New York Times , 
were also brought into the case, but with the admonishment that 
they should print nothing "... which would arouse the sensi- 
tiveness of the Southern people and engender the feeling that 
the North is criticizing the courts or the people of Georgia." 
Unfortunately, for Frank, this admonition was not followed and 
vitriolic exchanges between Northern and Southern press followed, 

helping to make conviction of Frank an article of faith for 

( 

Southerners. Belief in Frank's innocence became the litmus test 

-29- 



in the Jewish community for anti-Semitism. If one believed 
/ ' Frank innocent, he might not be anti-Semitic, but if one be- 
lieved Frank guilty or even proven guilty , then by definition 
he must be anti-Semitic. 

In addition to the activities of the American Jewish 
Committee, Albert D. Lasker, a Jewish advertising "genius" con- 
tributed his services. These efforts, besides fund raising, 
including. the placing of favorable stories for Frank," even 
though in exaggerated form, in newspapers around the country, 
obtaining resolutions of legislatures, statements of individuals, 
etc., urging Frank's pardon and denouncing Georgia and Georgians 
as prejudiced brutes. 

Suddenly, on March 10, 1914, the Atlanta Journal voiced 
itself editorially. Having contributed so much to Frank's 
conviction by the sensational coverage of its news stories 
published in competition with the Hearst-owned Atlanta Georgian 
afternoon paper, the Journal , now editorially called for a new 
trial. Announcing that "... cheers for the prosecuting counsel 
were irrepressible in the courtroom throughout the trial and on - - 
the streets unseemly demonstrations and condemnations, of Frank 
were heard by the judge and jury. The judge was powerless to 
prevent these outbursts in the courtroom and the police were unable 
to control the crowd outside" — events which the Journal had not 
reported during the course of the trial. The outburst of criti- 
cism from other papers in the South led the Journal not to speak 
out again on Frank's behalf for another year. 



('■ 



-30- 



c. 



These efforts and the sudden announcement from the Journal 
at last brought into the lists Tom Watson. He had been sought 
by both defense counsel and the prosecution to participate in 
the Frank trial. Watson had reigned as the premier criminal 
lawyer in the state but, after his defeat for Vice President 
on the Populist ticket in 1896, had devoted much of his time to 
writing history and editing, i.e./ writing most of the contents 
of his weekly newspaper, the Jef fersonian , and his monthly publi- 
cation, Watson's Monthly Magazine . He immediately launched a 
vigorous counter-attack against those criticizing the results 
of the Frank case and in the coming months reviewed in thorough 
detail the evidence of Frank's guilt presented in the case and 
castigated those supporting Frank. While not hesitating to refer 
to Frank as "a Jew pervert" on frequent occasions, his vitriol 
(__ / was directed more to Frank's being a member of and having access 
to wealth, thereby denying justice to the family of a "poor 
factory girl", a view shared by a substantial majority of the 
Georgia population. 

The fact that the Atlanta Journal was Hoke Smith's political 
organ did not, of course, endear its editorial opinions to 
Watson, and he saw the paper's demand for a new trial as an ef- 
fort by Smith to drag the case into politics. Repeatedly, Watson 
asked two central questions, "Does a Jew expect extraordinary 
favors of immunities because of his race?" and "Who is paying for 
all of this?" Mary Phagan was described as "a daughter of the 
people, of the common clay, of the blouse and overall, of those 

who earn bread in the sweat of the face and who, in so many in- 

( " 

stances are the chattel slaves of a sordid Commercialism that 

has no milk of human kindness in its heart of stone,," 

-31- 



Employment of the William Burns agency by the Frank sup- 
porters after the trial proved to have a negative effect which 
further enf lamed the State of Georgia. A Burns' operative , Mr. 
Tobie, had earlier been retained by members of the Phagan family 
and their neighbors to investigate the murder and discover the 
murderer. After some weeks of investigation , Tobie at length 
resigned from the matter, but announced that he, like Scott of 
the Pinkerton Agency , 'the detectives of the Atlanta police de- 
partment and Dorsey's staff, had concluded that Frank was the 
guilty party. In May of 1915, Burns brushed aside this previous 
employment and the conclusion of his operative, and announced 
repeatedly that he had discovered new evidence and could identify 
the true murderer. Burns' attempt to obtain renunciation of trial 
testimony hy prosecution witnesses at the trial was met by recu- 
sals of the renunciations. Evidence was presented in court that 
Burns had bribed witnesses to give false testimony in this re- 
gard and at length the Burns' connection was dropped, having done 
severe damage to the Frank cause, particularly in demonstrating 
the huge sums of money being raised and spent to - save- Frank/ — 
Estimates of these funds have run as high as $450,000. In addi- 
tion, Burns admitted on a cross-examination at the hearing on extra- 
ordinary motion for new trial that he had never read the testimony 
of the trial and that, except for the now repudiated affidavits 
of witnesses, he had obtained no other. evidence to absolve Frank 
of guilt in the crime. One of Frank's attorneys thereafter wrote 
". . . all of us feel that the situation is hopeless. -Unless the-; 



-32- 



Supreme Court of the United States sustains the constitutional 
point, Frank is a doomed man." 

The basis for the extraordinary motion was Frank's absence 
from the courtroom at the announcement of the jury's verdict, 
even though his counsel had pledged to Dorsey that this ques- 
tion would not become the basis' for an appeal. Both Georgia 
and U.S. Supreme Courts unanimously upheld the denial of this 
motion. 

Later, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the last judicial 
avenue, a Writ of Habeas Corpus , with Justices . Holmes and 
Hughes dissenting on the basis that a lower court hearing 
should have been held to determine the validity of the defense 
affidavits asserting mob pressure on the jury, but expressing 
no opinion as to the truth of these affidavits. 

Next, the Frank supporters began to seek a pardon or 
commutation of Frank's sentence to life imprisonment, first 
through the Pardon and Parole Commission which, however, voted 
down Frank's motion by a vote of two- to-one. Thereafter, pe- 
titions, letters and editorials, most of which emanated from 
outside the State of Georgia, urging the commutation of Frank's 
sentence poured into Governor John M. Slaton's office, and were 
estimated to reach 100,000 in number. 

Slaton had been a name partner of the Rosser law firm 
since May of 1913 and is so listed in the newspaper announce- 
ments of the day and in the Atlanta City Directories of 1914, 
1915, and 1916, even though he was then serving as Governor 



-33- 



(■; 



c 



^ 



of the State. This conflict was readily seized upon by "Watson 
and the public was reminded of it repeatedly after Slaton de- 
cided to commute Frank's sentence to life imprisonment. Frank's 
latest death sentence had been set for June 22, 1915, with 
Slaton scheduled to go out of office on June 26, 1915, to be 
succeeded by Nat Harris. Slaton could have granted a reprieve 
and let Harris determine the petition for commutation, a move 
which many anticipated. However, Slator and others perceived 
that Harris would deny the petition. Accordingly, Slaton moved 
with dispatch, heard argument of counsel, reviewed materials 
and issued his ruling on June 22, the day after Frank had been 
secretly removed from Fulton County Tower to the state prison 
farm at Milledgeville. 

Slaton *s Commutation Order 

First, Slaton himself denied that mob influence or racial 
prejudice had entered into the jury's verdict: 

" MOBS 

The jury found the defendant guilty and with the exception 
of demonstration outside the courtroom, there was no disorder. 

Hence , it will be seen that nothing was- done which courts 
of any state could correct through legal machinery. A court 
must have something more than an atmosphere with which to deal, 
and especially when that atmosphere has been created through 
the processes of evidence in disclosing a horrible crime. Our 



-34- 



(. 



Supreme Court, after carefully considering the evidence as to 
demonstrations made by spectators , declared them without merit , 
and in this regard the orderly processes of our tribunals are 
not subject to criticism. 

RACIAL PREJUDICE 

"The charge against the State of Georgia of racial prejudice 
is unfair; A conspicuous Jewish family in Georgia is descended 
from one of the original colonial families of the state. Jews 
have been presidents of our Boards of Education, principals of 
our schools t Mayors of our cities, and conspicuous in all our 
commercial enterprises." 

Basing his order on doubt as to the proof of guilt beyond 

a reasonable doubt/ Slaton reviewed the evidence and history of 

the various appeals, then announced with some sophistry: 

"This case has been marked by doubt. The trial 
judge doubted. Two judges of the Court of Georgia 
doubted. One of the. three Prison Commissioners 
doubted. " 

In fact, none of the four appellate judges had expressed 
doubt as to the defendant's guilt , simply dissents as to legal 
procedure. 

After commutation, Slaton was repeatedly burned in effigy, 
a mob attacked his Buckhead home and he was hounded out of the 
State, not to return for years and never to hold public office 
again in Georgia, despite his continued interest and one un- 
successful Senate race against Richard Russell in the 1930" s, in 
which Slaton carried only one of Georgia's 159 counties. 



-35- 



Then Atlanta Mayor James Woodward attending a conference 
of mayors in San Francisco stated: 

"People throughout the United States have obtained 
their ideas of the Frank case from a poisoned and 
subsidized press. There is not a member of the 
jury that tried Leo H„ Frank v;ho would change his 
decision if put to the test again. Georgia's 
people cannot be classed with tramps, hoodlums, 
bandits, and lawbreakers. But every avenue of 
law had been exhausted and the judgments of the 
courts set aside by one man and the people felt 
it was up to them to take the law into their 
hands. We people of Georgia deplore this deed, 
but when it comes to a woman's honor there is no 
limit we will not go to avenge and protect. I 
have known Jack Slaton thirty years. I have 
been friends with him,. and while I hate to say 
it, I would not advise him to return to Georgia 
for a year, if ever. The bulk of the people may 
believe he did what he thought was right, but 1 
am afraid there are some who will resent his 
acts throughout all the years to come.*' 

Tom Watson, wrote s 

"It was the snob governor of high society, gilded 
Club life, and palatial environment that proved 
to be the rotten pippen in our barrel. . . . - 
With splendid integrity our whole system withstood 



-36- 



the attacks of Big Money until at length nothing 
/f' was left but the perfidy of a governor who, in 

the interest of his client/ betrayed a high office 
and a great people." 

At Milledgeville, Frank was treated as a low-security risk 
prisoner, to use today's terms , and had a generally easy life 
until some four weeks after his arrival when William Creal/ a 
fellow prisoner/ cut Frank's throat while the latter slept. 
Governor Nat Harris later wrote in his autobiography: 
"We met him and when I asked Creal who and what caused 
him to commit the act, he replied: 

'It was impressed on me that the presence 
of Frank here was a disgrace to the penitentiary. 
No one guilty as he is should have been allowed 
here, and I thought I was acting with the sanction 
of heaven when I tried to get rid of him.'" 
Harris continued: 

"I reached the conclusion that he [Creal] had expected his 
conduct would be so well approved by a large class of citizens 
outside the penitentiary that they immediately would ask the 
governor to pardon him if he killed Frank. 

"When I went to examine him after the attack made on Frank 
by the convict, Creal/ I went into his room while the doctor 
was dressing the wound.- The gash extended from ear to ear and 
was so frightful in appearance that I wondered at his being alive. 
While the doctor was washing the wound/ Frank coughed, and I asked 
the doctor immediately with a good deal of sympathy in my voice, 



C" 



O 



-37- 



c 



"Won't that wound attack his lungs before it heals?" 

"When I asked this, Frank laughed — a queer sort of 
laugh — a laugh that showed at least to me a hard 7 careless 
heart and the doubt which I had about his guilt was lessened 
greatly as I heard the laugh and looked into his face. I 
could not help the impression. Looking back on it now, I do 
not see why I had been impressed but I felt then that the man 
was undoubtedly a hardened criminal or a reckless prisoner . . ." 

Frank hovered between life and death for some time but 
was on the road to recovery, when at about 11:00 p.m., on 
August 16, 1915, a group of about 25 men from Marietta, not 
bothering to wear masks nor carry rifles, broke into the prison 
farm, encountering little resistance or difficulty, handcuffed 
Frank, and removed him to their motorcade within five minutes. 
^ No pursuit' was launched. All telephone and telegraph lines 
from the prison had been cut except for a long distance line 
to Augusta. The men were later described by the Dean of the 
Atlanta Theological Seminary as "a band of men, sober, intelli- 
gent, of established good name and character — good American 
citizens" whose leader was "as reputable a name as you would 
ever hear in a lawful community. He was a man honored and re- 
spected." It is reported that this leader was the then Solicitor 
of the Superior Court Circuit in which Cobb County lay. 

The remaining telephone line was utilized to alert sheriffs 
in county seats along the possible return routes to Marietta. 



V 



-38- 



<:~: 



C 



C 



From several of these places / the local sheriff replied: 
"The parties have just passed through on their way north in 
automobiles", no effort being made to intercept the motorcade. 
Driving all night, the group stopped outside Marietta, near 
Frey's Mill, and hung Frank on a large oak tree close to the 
home where Mary Phagan had grown up. Frank was reported to 
have confessed on the drive to Marietta that "The nigger [Conley] 
told the truth but he did not .tell all. of the truth." He also 
was reported to have said, when asked if he wished to confess 
to the rape and murder of Mary Phagan before being hung, "I 
think more of my wife and mother than I do of my life," a some- 
what enigmatic response. 

In time, attempts to mutilate the body were quelled by 
Judge Newton Morris and the body was removed to Atlanta for 
embalming. Although members of the lynch mob were apparently 
well known in the area, little effort was made to bring them 
to trial and a coroner's inquest jury concluded that Leo Frank 
died "at the hand of persons unknown." 

Tom Watson, editorialized: 

"The ominous triune combination which has so rapidly 
given our country a foreign complexion, is made up of Priest/ 
Capitalist, and Jew. The Priest wants the illiterate papal 
slave of Italy, Poland and Hungary; the Capitalist wants 
cheap labor; and the Jew wants refuge' from the race-hatred 
which he himself has engendered throughout Europe. 

As yet, the South has not been deluged by the foreign flood; 
as yet, our native stock predominates, and the old ideals per- 
sist. With us, it is,' as yet, dangerous for an employer of • - 



-39- 



young girls to assume that he buys the girl, when he hires her. 
A Jew from the North, coming South to act as boss over 100 
girls, may fall into a fatal mistake by forgetting that he is 
no longer in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago or New York. When 
such a Jew comes to Georgia, he is sure to run into trouble 
if he acts as though he believed he had a right to carnally use 
the persons of the girls who work for him. 

"That was the mistake made by Leo Frank, and it cost him 
his life. 

"And the mistake made by Jews throughout the Union, was 
that they made Frank's case a race issue , in total, contemp- 
tuous and aggressive disregard of the question of guilt. They 
arrogantly asserted, and kept on asserting, that he had not had 
a fair trial, without ever offering a scintilla of evidence to 
prove it. 

"They tried to "run over" the people and the Courts of 
Georgia, and we wouldn't let them do it . 

"That's all.". 



-40- 



G 



FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED 

o 

v TO FRANK'S CONVICTION 



C 



( 



List of Certain Evidence 
Pointing to Frank's Guilt 

1. Frank's demeanor on night of murder, the morning after 
and at time of his arrest. 

2. Sending night watchman Lee away at 4:00 p.m.' on day of 
murder. 

3. Calling night watchman Lee at 7:00 p.m. on night of murder. 

4. Frank's denial of knowledge of identity of Mary Phagan. 

5. Testimony of Selig family cook and her husband as to Frank's 
distraught condition on night of crime. 

6. Frank's attempts to throw suspicion on Lee and Gantt . 

7. Frank's failure to throw suspicion on Conley. 

8. Frank's failure to tell authorities that Conley could write. 

9. Frank's refusal to have confrontation with Conley. 

10. Frank's misstatement under oath at Coroner's inquest about 
whistles blowing at noon (holiday—no whistles blew) . 

11. Frank's misstatement under oath at Coroner's inquest as to 
never leaving office between 12:00 and 12:45 — refuted by 
Monteen Stover's sworn testimony. 

12. Frank's changing his reported answer to Mary Phagan' s metal 
supply question from "I don't know" to "No". 

13. Frank's refusal to be cross-examined after making two un- 
sworn statements at trial. 

14. Testimony of witnesses as to Frank's knowledge of Mary 
Phagan, location of her machine, and Frank's harassment 
of her, despite his denial of knowing her or her name. 

15. Introduction of unchallenged testimony as to Frank's bad 
character for lasciviousness by twenty former female 
employees of Company--no cross examination by Frank's 
counsel . 

16. Testimony of other witnesses as to Frank's pattern of 
sexual misconduct. 

17. Conley 's testimony as to events of April 26 and as to 
previous sexual episodes of Frank and others. 



18. Bloodstains on floor in metal room across hall from 
Frank's office. 

19. Hair on lathe in metal room across hall from Frank's office. 

20. Twine of type which strangled Mary Phagan present on second 
floor. 

21. Frank's refusal to send her pay home to Mary Phagari by 
friends on Friday afternoon before murder. 

22. Frank's cancellation of baseball game date. 

23. Belief of Frank's guilt by private detectives , Atlanta 
police and Dorsey staff. 

24. Belief of Conley's. story by private detectives , Atlanta 
police and Dorsey staff. 



c 



(:' 



NOTES FOUND NEAR 
MARY PHAGAN's BODY 



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DIAGRAM OF NATIONAL PENCIL COMPANY BUILDING 
SHOWING PROSECUTION'S RECONSTRUCTION OF MURDER 

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The Atlanta Georgian 

R«"i for Profit —GEORGUJif VrAttT ADS-~Uu for fietuAi 

| VOU XI. xo. tw. 



THE GEORGIAN ARTIST'S DIAGRAM OF 
PENCILFACTORY USED BEFORE GRAND 
JURY TO EXPLAIN PHAGAtf SLAYING 



Courtesy of The Atlanta Georg- 
ian, May ij, iqij 







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MAP OF SECOND FLOOR OF 
NATIONAL PENCIL COMPANY FACTORY 
SHOWING LEO FRANK'S OFFICE, 
£-"' MARY PHAGAN'S WORK PLACE 

AND SITE OF MURDER 



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REVIEW OF TRIAL BY 
ATLANTA NEWSPAPER REPORTER 
^ PRESENT THROUGHOUT PROCEEDINGS 



( 



APPENDIX D 



A Georgian's View 



the letter reprinted below is located among the Julius 
Rosenwald Papers at the University of Chicago. It was written 
at the end of 1914 or the beginning of 191 5 by a newspaper re- 
porter for The Atlanta Georgian, identified solely as the "Old 
Police Reporter." The recipient of the letter is unknown. If it 
was not Julius Rosenwald, it might have been Albert Lasker or 
some other Northern Jew interested in obtaining Frank's freedom. 
This letter is significant because it represents the views of a 
considerable number of knowledgeable Georgians who reached 
their conclusions on the basis of the evidence printed in the news- 
papers and related at the trial. The author, however, was particu- 
larly familiar with the case. He attended the trial, had a number 
of personal interviews with Leo Frank, and also had access to the 
prosecutor. 



Dear Mr. 

My personal opinion is that Leo M. Frank is guilty of the mur- 
der of Mary Phagan, committed after an attempted seduction — ■ 
prohably successful, itid most likely of a perverted type. This 
opinion was formed during a close attendance at the trial and in 
the course of ten or twelve conversations with Frank after 
the dust of action had had some six months to settle. 

As to the rrial itself, our town seems to be getting in pretty 
bad with Comer's, the Chicago Tribu?ie, and certain other pub- 
lications. It seems we are pistol-toters and hrowheaters of juries 
and all that sort of thing .... I do not think Atlanta is getting 
a square deal in this matter. It is true there was a lot of excite- 
ment here during the trial. It is true there was a popular clamor 



A Georgian's View 173 

for a "goat." I think that is true in every city where any crime 
of especial horror Is commitrcd. It also is true there was some 
race prejudice in evidence; that the trial judge was a weak sister; 
that he was bullied lanicnrnblv bv both sides during the trial, but 
notably by the defense; that the entire trial was under tension, 
so to speak. It has even hcen said that the Solicitor's closing 
speech was stopped early on Saturday afternoon and the case 
continued until Mondav because a verdict was expected almost 
as soon as the jury. got the case — and, it being Saturday, the town 
was well jammed with country people, who really were more 
worked up over the case than the city folk, if that is possible. 

T am not certain of this last statement; hut it is certain there 
was a lot of excitement; vou recall the first Hyde trial, of course. 
Well, this was much like that, except for a more pronounced 
animosity against Frank than was in evidence against Hyde, 

On the other hand, the Tribune and Collier's are guilty of gross 
exaggeration, particularly in detailing the conduct of the court- 
room crowd. To tnv mind, the crowd was commendahly quiet. 
The only break in the uniform good order was ripple of ap- 
plause, perhaps twice, when Dorsey. the Solicitor, entered the 
room toward the end of the trial. Tt was rebuked promptly. As to 
the "hands moving toward hip-pokets," and the "cries of 'If you 
let the Jew go, we'll hang him and vou, too' " — there simply was 
none of that, and no excuse for the injection of such stuff* into 
any account of the case. 

The jury was unusually high-class in intelligence and in pre- 
sumptive character. Wc have the sworn statements of each that 
his conclusion was the result of his own unhiascd consideration 
of the evidence — but of course thev would say that. They all 
maintain that thev heard nothing of the so-called ''demonstra- 
tions" outside the courthouse — cheering in the streets the last 
day of the trial, and so on. Rut it would he nearly impossible and 
out of reason that those men should not have sensed the puhlic 
sentiment. Still, the Supreme Court said Frank had a fair trial; 
and the trial judge said so — qualifying his statement with his 
peculiar remark, which T heard him make, and which was clipped 
from the Georgian as 1 wrote it, and made into part of the court 
record: 

"I am not convinced of the guilt or innocence of the defendant; 



"74 A Georgian's View 

but I do not have to be convinced. The jury was convinced, and 
that is enough." 

My impression at the time was that Judge Roan was merely try- 
ing to placate Luther Rosser, chief lawyer for the defense, to 
whom it is said the judge is a political debtor of some kind. The 
remark was part of Judge Roan's denial of a motion for a new 
trial before the case got up to the Supreme Court; and it was 
used for all it was worth in. the p!ca to that hody. 

So you sec it is ticklish business, when the trial judge himself 
is not convinced, hut says the defendant had a fair trial accord- 
ing to law. 

Frank is a well educated young man; a graduate of Cornell; a 
smooth, swift, and convincing - speaker. If you have seen' any 
good pictures of him, you will understand what I mean when I 
say that he looks like a pervert. It is a slightly significant fact, I 
think, that I sized him up as one the first time I saw him, before 
a whisper of the perversion testimony came out. . . . Others have 
told mc they were impressed the same way. In strict confidence 
(thnt is, so far as any publication is concerned) Solicitor Dorsey 
told me of a fearful mass of testimony with which he said he was 
prepared to prove the perversion of the accused in the event the 
defense tried to back its character case to a finish, which it did 
not, refusing in every instance to cross-examine the witnesses put 
on by the state, who were (under the Georgia law) permitted on 
direct examination to answer no more than "Bad," to the state's 
question as to the character of the defendant. 

As to Frank's heing convicted on the unsupported testimony 
of a "black brute" — I think that is peculiarly unfair to a section 
of which it has been the stigma that the negro could never get 
a fair deal in a court of law. 

I really am convinced that the State's case would have stood up 
without the negro Conlcy's testimony; and I know it to be a fact 
that Dorsey had practically finished what was to be his indict- 
ment case to the grand jury before Conlcy spilled a word. 
Whether Frank would have been indicted (Dorsey revised his 
case after Conlcy loosened up) is another question. At any rate, 
it is worth while to note these points: 

i. That Leo Frank tried to fasten suspicion on two other ne- 
groes first, and never mentioned Conlcy until fairly pushed to it, 



A Georgian's View 175 

i. That Leo Frank knew Conlcy could write all the time, and 
was silent while knowing that Conley was denying he could 
write; the inference being that Frank was shielding Conley lest 
Conlcy should open up on him. 

3. That the several untrue statements of Conley, of which so 
much is made by Collier's, were simply the efforts, of the un- 
tutored Afro-American to shield his boss — and ^a the $200 prom- 
ised him by Frank. As soon as Conley saw he was getting into it 
himself, he promptly threw Frank overboard and came through 
with the goods. 

4. That Frank never was able to account for his time during 
the half hour the state contends he was engaged with Mary 
Phagan. 

That Frank, after seeing the girl's body the morning after the 
murder, and hearing the name, said he did not know if such a 
girl worked at the factory, and would have to look it up on the 
rolls, whereas it was shown that he had spoken to Mary Phagan 
frequently calling her by name. 

These arc only a few points. The "murder notes" are a queer 
business all to themselves. For my part, I do not undertake to say 
or guess if Frank dictated them to Conlev, who certainly wrote 
them; or if the negro being ordered to dispose of the body by 
burning it, changed his mind and wrote the notes of his own 
volition. 

But I will say that I heard Conlcy's evidence entire, and was 
impressed powerfully with the idea that the negro was repeating 
something he had seen; that was photographically fixed on his 
mind; perhaps you know something of the remarkable capacity 
for observing and recalling details exhibited by crude minds, 
especially in negroes .... Conlcy's story was told with a 
wealth of infinitesimal detail that I firmly believe to be beyond 
the capacity of his mind, or a far more intelligent one, to con- 
struct from imagination .... For example .... "And when 
we run the elevator back up to the office floor, it didn't quite 
get to the level, and Mr. Frank, he stumbled and like to fell 
down, and cussed, and brushed his pants off, this way." That sort 
of thing, all the way. 

And the next day, with upwards of fifty typewritten pages of 
solid testimony to check him by, Luther Rosser tore into that 



NiV 



176 A Georgian's View 

nigger, hour after hour, up and down and sidewisc, misquoting 
his testimony, skipping about— every trick of a trained lawyer — 
and he did not shake that nigger once or make him contradict 
himself. It just stuck in my craw, Mr, X, that that nigger was 
telling something he had SEEN 

Well, I've no idea you wanted all this stuff, but it's easy to 
write and maybe you wiiJ find something of interest in it. I have 
thought about it a good deal, and have come to the conclusion 
stated in Paragraph I; but 1 must say honestly that I am one of 
those persons who find it easier to hold a man guilty until he 
proves himself innocent than the vice versa laid down in our won- 
derful system of jurisprudence .... To go the whole route, 
my theory of the crime is that Frank is a pervert; that he kept 
after Mary Phagan until he dated her up, for that Decoration 
Day afternoon, in the "metal room" of the factory; that he fright- 
ened her by his* unnatural behavior; and that either in the fright, 
or in the revulsion following the performance she began to cry 
and became hysterica), probably insisting, louder and louder, that 
she was going to "tell on him" — she was only a little girl, you 
know. . . . Then I can imagine Frank trying to pacify her; per- 
haps backed up against the locked door, imploring her to be quiet; 
perhaps she even attacked him in her frenzy co be away. Anyway, 
f imagine he tried to hold her, and she wrenched herself violently 
away, falling against a lathe and knocking herself unconscious 
.... Frank may have thought her dead; anyway, it was his last 
chance, for nothing but death would stop her story now .... 
So he made sure by strangling her ... . And then, in the ghastly, 
jangle of his nerves, he sought aid from his Man Friday — Jim 
Conlcv, who was watching below, as he testified he had watched 
manv another Saturday afternoon while Frank "chatted" with 
women in the deserted factory. , 

It may be all wrong, Mr. X, but that's my honest opinion. It 
amounts to a conviction. I believe Frank to he guilty, and I think 
he had as fair a trial as could have been had with alt the public 
stress of the case, which could not have been avoided in any way 
that I can see. Anyway, the Supreme Court said he had a fair 
trial, and so far as we poor mortals are concerned we have to 
take the findings of our highest courts as the ultimate truth. T,co 
Frank and Jim Cnnlcy and God know the truth of this thing. 



A. Georgian's View "77 

Frank says one thing; Conlcy says another and more probable 
thing. God hasn't said anything yet— unless He speaks through 
juries and Supreme Courts. . . . Anyway, this is just my^ humble 
personal opinion, as you asked for it— and if I have been tiresome, 
I apologize heartily. 

With best wishes to yourself and all the boys for the coming 
year, and all the rest of them, I am 

Sincerely yours. 



^ U 



( 



DISCUSSION OF 
198 2 AFFIDAVIT OF 
^.'' ALONZO MANN 



c 



1982 Affidavit of AI01120 Mann 



(.. 



The affidavit produced in March of 1982 by 83-year old 
Alonzo M. Mann truly beggars belief. Mann was an office boy 
working in Leo Frank's second-floor office at the time of the 
murder and was called as a defense witness during Frank's murder 
trial. Mann testified at that trial that he worked with Frank in 
the latter" s office during the morning of the April 26, 1913 
murder and left the office at 11:30 a.m. He also testified as 
to his belief in Frank's good character. Frank testified that 
Mann left his office at or shortly after noon. (Mann's testimony 
was doubtless the correct one. Had he left Frank's office at 
or shortly after noon, he would have encountered Mary Phagan 
entering the building or ascending the stairs to the second floor.) 

v Of course, Mann's affidavit does not rise to the dignity of 

the trial testimony of Jim Conley which it is apparently intended 
to challenge. . Conley testified under oath, pursuant to examination 
by the prosecution attorneys and was vigorously cross-examined for 
some three days by the very capable lead attorneys for Frank's 
defense team. Trial observers and counsel for both prosecution 
and defense agreed that Conley' s testimony had not been broken by 
the cross-examination. It was a critical element, among many, in 
corroborating the circumstantial evidence and other evidence lead- 
ing to Frank's conviction. 

Among the questions which are raised by Mann's affidavit 
is: Why has he come forward only at this late date? He was 

, . interviewed in 1913 by the Atlanta police investigating the 



-1- 



( 



crime and by defense counsel for Frank. If he had any informa- 
tion to shed on the crime such as he now purports to set forth 
in his affidavit, would it not have been extracted by skilled 
interrogators from a fourteen-year old boy? Would he not have 
volunteered it at that time? Mann's assertion that he was 
afraid of Conley and Conley's purported threat to kill him if he 
revealed what he saw that day hardly merits belief. Conley was 
arrested on the Tuesday after the. crime (despite Frank' s . efforts 
to shield him) and remained in jail from that day throughout the 
trial and for a year after his own conviction for being an ac- 
complice-after- the -fact in Mary Phagan's murder, leaving Mann in 
complete safety. In addition, Conley died in 1962, a fact which 
must have been known to Mann, hence, why his silence for the 
C following twenty years? 

Likewise, Mann's assertion that his mother's admonition to 
say nothing about what he had seen seems most unlikely to be 
followed by any fourteen-year old youth with the slightest- sem- 
blance of conscience." Concealing evidence in a murder trial is, 
of course, a crime in itself. Mann purported to have a regard 
for Frank and after Frank's conviction, if not before, surely 
he would have come forward with whatever favorable evidence he 
had. In addition, Atlanta was covered by agents and operatives 
on behalf of Frank's defense before, during and for many months 
after the trial seeking out any scrap of information pertaining 
to the crime and Frank's conviction. Large sums of money were 
expended in this process, rewards were offered, and promises made, 



-11- 



c 



Again, it cannot be believed that Mann would not have come for- 
ward during these well publicized searches. 

Mann asserts that he saw Conley on the first floor of the 
building between the elevator shaft and the trap door to the 
basement, carrying a female body. Mann places himself between 
Conley and the front door which afforded him a ready way of escape. 
Mann knew that Frank was (or should have been) upstairs in the 
second floor office at the time; he also knew workmen were in 
the building on the upper floors — all affording ready means of 
assistance to him and to the victim. In addition, the streets 
■ outside the factory were teeming with the thousands of people 
who had assembled to watch the Confederate Memorial Day Parade 
which Mary Phagan had herself intended to observe. Mann had 
(^ only to retrace his few steps to the front door and sound the 
alarm to produce numbers of rescuers who would have been 'more 
than eager to mete out punishment to Conley for what was at that 
time the most heinous offense in Georgia moral structure, the rape 
and murder of a white girl by a black male. Could any fourteen- 
year old boy in the Atlanta of 1913 be so craven or frightened ag 
to not, even if he did not seek to help the victim personally, 
cry out for assistance from any of these sources? To pose the 
question is to answer it. 

In short, Mann's affidavit lacks credibility. 

Perhaps of greater significance is that Mann's recitation 
of the scene that he saw, i.e., Jim Conley carrying the body of 
a girl towards the trap door leading to the basement, is not 
inconsistent with the prosecution's case on which Frank's con- 
viction was based, i.e., that Frank waited for Mary Phagan to 

-iii- 



c 



appear in his office for her pay, lured her into the metal room, 
{ assaulted her there, struck and killed her when she resisted 

his advances and, subsequently, called for Conley to come to the 
second floor, collect the body and remove it to the basement for 
incineration or later removal. If the scene that Mann now asserts 
took place, it varies' from the prosecution's case so insignifi- 
cantly as to be not worthy of any motion to this Board for a new 
review of- Frank's case, much less a "posthumous pardon" . In 
particular, it does not explain away all those other factors 
which pointed to Frank's guilt. 



G 



-IV- 



CONCLUSION 



CONCLUSION 

Leo M. Frank was guilty as charged. He had the motive, the 
means and the opportunity to commit the rape and murder of Mary 
Phagan. 

Ample evidence was brought forth at his trial, including the 
three-day sworn testimony of his accomplice, to constitute more 
than enough evidence to convince a reasonable jury beyond a 
reasonable doubt of Frank's guilt. Frank was defended in his 
five-week long trial by the two finest trial lawyers in the Atlanta 
of that day, Rueben Arnold and Luther Z . Rosser. Rosser ' s former 
partner presided over the trial as judge, and his then current law 
partner was the Governor of Georgia who ultimately commuted Frank's 
sentence to life. 

Neither of the two Fulton County Superior Court judges who 
heard the three motions for new trial, none of the members of the 
Georgia Supreme Court who affirmed Frank's conviction three times 
and none of the Justices of the U. S. Supreme Court who rejected 
Frank's appeals twice ever expressed in their opinions and rulings 
any doubt as to Frank's guilt. 

There was no mob influence on the trial judge or the jury. 
All jurors signed affidavits to that effect, supported by affi- 
davits from court staff in attendance at the trial. Neither 
Frank's defense attorneys nor the trial judge moved for mistrial 
or change of venue as surely they would have if mobs were present 
during the trial. The three Atlanta daily newspapers of 1913, the 



Constitution , Journal and Georgian , locked in a fierce circulation 
competition and enjoying separate ownership, report no mobs during 
the five weeks of the trial. Franklin Garrett in his definitive 
Atlanta and Its Environs reports no mob. Conversations with per- 
sons who were in attendance at the trial, including two who later 
became judges in Atlanta, confirm the absence of mobs and mob 
influence. Indeed, even Governor Slaton in his commutation order 
went to some length to deny that mob influence or anti-Semitism 
influenced the guilty verdict. 

Had Frank's accomplice, the black janitor, Jim Conley, 
committed the crime alone, in an Atlanta just seven years re- 
moved from the extensive race riots of 1906, he would not have 
tarried at the scene of the crime, returning to work day after 
day in the following week until ultimately arrested. His con- 
tinued presence at the factory confirms and corroborates his 
testimony of belief in Frank's promises and ability to protect him, 

Leo Frank was guilty and fairly convicted. Due process was 
had. It is long since time to put the Frank case to rest. 



Tom Watson Brown 
1982 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The foregoing constitutes the bulk of a two-part address I 
delivered to the Symposium Club — a dinner-discussion group in 
Atlanta in 1982. Accordingly, it is not for sale or other general 
distribution . 

Sources I have studied include the transcript of the trial as 
reprinted in the Atlanta Constitution during the five weeks of the 
1913 trial, newspaper accounts of the Constitution , the Atlanta 
Journal and the Atlanta Georgian relating to the discovery of the 
body, the various investigations, the trial and the ensuing appeals, 
commutation and lynching. Printed works consulted include 
Dinnerstein, The Leo Frank Case (New York, 1968), Golden, A Little 
Girl is Dead (Cleveland, 1965), Francis X. Busch, The Leo Frank 
Case in Guilty or Not Guilty (New York, 1952), and various other 
books, articles, pamphlets, fictional and semi-fictional accounts of 
the trial. 

The quoted materials relative to the efforts of the American 
Jewish Committee, as well as "Appendix D", come from Dinnerstein ' s 
book. Quoted materials as to testimony at the trial come from the 
Constitution ' s daily reprint of the trial transcript, and quoted 
materials of Tom Watson are from Watson's Magazine and his Weekly 
Jef f ersonian . The quotation of Governor Harris is from his 
Autobiography (Macon, 1925). The map of the building and its second 
floor were printed in the Atlanta Georgian and reprinted in 
Dinnerstein' s book, as were the photocopies of the notes found near 
Mary Phagan's body. The map of the factory ' s ' second floor is from 
Busch 's article. I have also had conversations of varying lengths 
with lawyers who were present at the trial and lawyer-sons of 
others present and participating in the trial.. My emphasis has, of 
course, been to rely on primary sources rather than on later reca- 
pitulations of the trial. 

68